Back-up storage saga (recommendations)

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Hi all,

In my travails, I'm coming to the conclusion that HDD storage is the best way to back-up and use data. I have a mounting stock of digital images and a web site to look after, as well as a growing archive of news clippings and scans for a few different projects.

I can by no means be considered an expert computer user.

My workplace has an large connected storage solution. What I'm looking for is for a personal storage of work and play. It must travel between my mac and PC (and numerous other PCs)

What I'm looking for is an external HDD -- I've read that there are bus powered FW400 units, which sounds better than having to truck a brick around. I would get two units, one for everyday use, and another for a periodic back-up. This way files should always be on two of at least three drives (one of the two externals, and on my laptop.)

There's a firesafe vault in my basement where I plan to keep one of the units. If I really wanted to go crazy, I could put one drive a safety deposit box, but with one drive at home and one at work most of the time, I'm covered.

I came to the realization that I've been getting very negligent, when I recently came as close as I care to get to loosing a lot of work (and documentation) if not for our network storage. I just haven't been burning those CD's as dilligently as I should, and I don't think that DVD's would make me any more diligent about it. Had it been some of my personal work, that's it, it woulda been gone.

My thoughts on the topic are manifold. It's obvious to me, that I don't do as much back-up as I should, because it's too tedious, and I'm lazy. And I wonder if I'll stick to the regiment I've just prescribed.

What works well with both mac and PC (FW400 and USB2) is recognized seamlessly under various windows iterations and and OSX, and keeps drives safe, cool, and QUIET.

Doesn't have to look great, must be reliable, bus powered 3.5" a bonus, but not essential.

I've read that oxford chipset based devices are the way to go. I don't think that I need 7200rpm speed. I think I'd prefer empty enclosures and install my own drives...


  • Reply 1 of 6
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    I got a combo enclosure (USB2 & FW-400) and I don't really notice any difference in performance between the 2. Of course, I'm not using it to actually run anything like an OS or apps off of.

    The bus-powered enclosure I liked was the WiebeTech UltraGB+. Really expensive, though.

    The combo enclosure I got has external power.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    I know I need a FW400/USB2 product, (FW/USB1.1 mac; USB2 PC).

    I'm almost certain that FW800 isn't worth it, or is not likely to be, given that it may be a while before FW800 is seen in a consumer mac (or my next computer)...

    However, since I have access to reasonably priced bare drives, I'm wondering if an SATA enclosure might be a better bet than an ATA enclosure?

    In a FW case would there be any advantages to SATA? Does the updated interface run drives quieter, cooler, more reliably? Even if only marginally so? Or is it a question of not being able to get larger drives at a later date. I wonder if the service life of the enclosure might exceed that of the drive, or is it a question of once it's time to get a new drive, you might as well get a new enclosure?

    I have a bit of a special circumstance in that anything I order from our office supply can be replaced (no questions asked) they have drives, but not enclosures, so you see my dilemma...
  • Reply 3 of 6
    I use migla's aluminium external's, pricey but well worth it, keeps your drives cool. Though Don't forget about DVDRam. What i do is use the migla's for storage and then backup & go DVDRam.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    I agree with you about HD backups. Simple, easy, and fast. In reality they're pretty cheap, too.

    The fact that OS X has imaging built in makes backing-up pretty damn simple. (in Windows, you need to pay 80 bucks for Norton Ghost). You can also get Carbon Copy (a program) that is essentially just a nice, GUI wrapper for 'ditto.' But it's free, so who's complaining. . .

    some quick newegging yields:

    5400rpm 200GB seagate for $105

    Pretty cheap, and with a big cache (8MB) which means the drive won't chatter as much.

    There are many places that sell enclosures. Newegg is one of them. also sells good enclosures.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    The fact that this has to trek between macs and PCs means that I'll need to be using an NTFS or FAT file system. It's strictly file storage, I'm not running any apps off it, will this affect my mac?
  • Reply 6 of 6
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    I'm not entirely sure that Windows has facilities for mounting HFS++ (which, incidentally, I like better than NTFS). I am pretty sure that OS X can mount an NTFS drive. . . I KNOW that Darwin can mount one.

    Another option is to get a network storage device. It will need a power cord, but any formating issues will lay to rest.

    You can also, easily enough, set the 0 partition as a bootable HFS++ volume. It's not a bad thing to have an extra boot disk around, and last I checked PC's shat themselves when trying to boot from USB or Firewire (BIOS sucks). (So it may as well be an HFS++ volume)
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